East Africa: Focus On the Safety of Children Crossing From Ethiopia Into Sudan, Warns Save the Children

press release

With thousands of people crossing the border from Ethiopia into Sudan, the safety of children must be the focus of any response, Save the Children urges. It's very easy for children to be separated from their families in the chaos or fall victim to abuse or exploitation.

According to the UN[1], over the past weeks, more than 27,000 people have crossed the border to escape violence in neighbouring Ethiopia.

Arshad Malik, Country Director for Save the Children in Sudan, said:

"Children are extremely vulnerable in these situations; they might have seen violence or have lost family members. Those fleeing the violence had to leave everything behind, their homes, their possessions, their friends, and their school. They will not always understand what's going on, and all this can have a deep impact on children.

"The region of Sudan where people are arriving has not seen refugees in two decades, so there's little in the way of shelter for the new arrivals. They need clean water, food, a place to sleep, and medical care - and children need to feel safe and protected, a place where they can catch their breath.

"We need to ramp up our activities in Sudan, a country that is already facing multiple challenges. There is a hunger crisis, recent floods have devastated communities, and there are internally displaced people who fled violence.

"All this is happening while humanitarian funding is low. It is vital that the international community steps up its support for Sudan, so the UN and the government can give shelter to the new arrivals. Save the Children teams are gearing up to respond and will be assessing the greatest needs in the places where children and their families are arriving every day."

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